All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for November 2003

Looking to the Future

http://www.msif.org/en/people_with_ms/get_involved/looking_to_the_f.html

October 30th 2003
MS Trust Conference, Harrogate, November 2003
Dr Alexander Burnfield MBBS DPM FRCPsych

People with MS have many different hopes and concerns about what will happen in the MS world in future years. Having been told repeatedly that “there will be a major breakthrough in MS research sometime in the next 10 years” many of us are becoming wary of these claims and are taking a more realistic view. There is no longer such a strong belief in the prospect of long term benefits from the new treatments, and some people with MS are cynical about the motives and financial imperatives of the pharmaceutical industry. But there is optimism about improving symptomatic treatments for MS and the work of MS nurses. An internet survey into the hopes, fears and realistic expectations of people with MS for the next ten years looked particularly at research, services and MS organisations. The final results from this survey are presented in distilled form.

The Survey

Question 1
What do you most HOPE will happen in the MS world in the next 10 years?

Question 2
What do you FEAR may happen in the MS world the next 10 years?

Question 3
What do you REALISTICALLY expect might happen in the MS world in the next 10 years?

Instructions

Please provide a short answer to each question paying special attention to
a) Research
b) Services
c) MS organisations

Total responses after six weeks ending August 2003:
335

Sample

All responses were noted, but about 20% were the most useful because they addressed each question in depth, often using several sentences in reply to each question. This was the sample used as a basis for further analysis and distillation. When answers were duplicated I have created a composite response, but in several cases wording has not been changed. Although responses came from throughout the world some are mainly relevant to the country of origin.

Analysis:

Q1 What do you most HOPE will happen in the MS world in the next 10 years?

Research

Clinical management Social Q2 What do you most FEAR will happen in the MS world in the next 10 years?

Research

Clinical Management Social Q3 What do you REALISTICALLY expect might happen in the MS world in the next 10 years?

Research

Clinical Management Social Implications

The survey provides a basis for further discussion in the various internet chat rooms and in face to face meetings. It is hoped that these will lead to further prioritisation of the results with most importantly fuel for local, national and international advocacy and action

Acknowledgement

A special thanks to the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation team in London who hosted the questions on the WOMS Internet site, and to the Multiple Sclerosis Trust (UK) for its support. But above all I am very grateful to the many people with MS from around the world who took the trouble to think about these questions and provide such a wealth and diversity of interesting answers
 

Copyright © 2003, A.J. Burnfield